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About genetic selection

From Domestication to Selection

Genetic Selection of Farm Animals

Selection is the process by which one animal is preferable to another for the characteristic(s) it expresses, such as production of milk, meat or wool, to breed the next generation.

So since domestication began farmers have sought to obtain more productive animals to meet their needs. The number of characteristics measured has gradually increased over the years and selection has become progressively more efficient. At the same time requirements have diversified moving from selection criteria based on yield in the 1960s(at the time French agriculture, which had been weakened by the Second World War, had particularly low production levels and found itself deficient in high quality milk) to selection criteria targeting product quality and so-called functional characteristics, such as animal health and longevity since the 1990s.

However farmers, faced with the complexity of decisions, practices, and the necessary biotechnological knowledge, are not alone. In general they rely on the shared tool of insemination cooperatives.

The Advantage of Selection

  • sélection génétique des animaux d'élevage

  • sélection génétique des animaux d'élevage

The New Selection Criteria

  • Dairy cow longevity
  • Resistance to mastitis

  • Fertility and calving conditions

  • Morphology and hardiness

  • Fewer genetic anomalies